Control Engineering salary and career survey, 2013
Average annual base salary was $92,918 among respondents to the 2013 Control Engineering salary and career survey, with 70% expecting an increase and average bonus of $10,486. Best skills to get ahead are engineering skills, project management skills, communication and presentation skills, and computer skills. Other career advice follows.
Average base annual salary for 2013 is $92,918 for those responding to the Control Engineering salary and career survey. Among respondents, 70% expect an increase (53% a 1%-3% increase, 13% a 4%-6% increase, and 4% expect more than a 6% increase), while 27% expect base pay to stay the same, and 3% expect a decrease. (Note that some totals don’t equal 100% due to rounding.)
Bonus compensation average among respondents is $10,486, with 21% expecting some increase (11% expect a 1%-3% gain, 5% expect 4%-6% more, and 5% expect more than 6%); 62% anticipate the same, and 17% expect a decrease.
Bonus criteria are overwhelmingly tied to company profitability at 64%. Other criteria were plant/line profitability 20%, safety metrics 19%, product profitability 18%, quality 17%, reducing plant costs 14%, uptime/downtime 11%, energy efficiency 7%, and 24% other key performance indicators (KPIs).
While it’s safe to say survey respondents are learning something new daily, the most common highest level of formal education completed was bachelor’s degree, completed by 45% of respondents, followed by 20% master’s degree, 10% associate’s degree, 9% college attendance, and 7% trade/technical school diploma, with about 3% each for dual-bachelor’s, doctorate, and high school level degrees.
Skills deemed necessary to get ahead in the current position are engineering skills at 63%, project management skills 63%, communication and presentation skills 48%, computer skills 47%, team-building skills 38%, finance/accounting skills and language skills each at 16%, and marketing/sales skills at 15%. Other skills were 4%.
Factors having most impact on current job satisfaction were technical challenge 40%, feeling of accomplishment 37%, financial compensation 28%, relationship with colleagues 27%, and location 21%. Sixth was job security at 19%, and the least cited factor was physical or ergonomic environment at work at 3%. Graphic shows responses to a dozen other criteria for job satisfaction.
Demographics among salary survey respondents
Most respondents were in the 55-59 age range (18%), followed by 50-54 (17%) and 45-49 (16%); those aged 60 and older accounted for 15% of respondents, while those 35 or younger totaled 14%. (For age and other data points not shown in graphs here, see the full report online.) Among respondents 1% were under 25, 6% 25-29, 7% 30-34, 8% 35-39, 12% 40-44, 16% 45-49, 17% 50-54, 18% 55-59, 9% 60-64, 5% 65-69, and 1% 70 or over.
Leading engineering disciplines studied are 45% electrical (EE) or electronic, 24% mechanical (ME), 15% controls, 11% chemical, 10% industrial, 8% instrumentation, 2% civil, and 14% other.
Half of respondents worked less than 10 years for the current employer, while 35% are in the 10- to 24-year range: 7% less than 1, 22% 1-4, 21% 5-9, 17% 10-14, 9% 15-19, 9% 20-24, 7% 25-29, and 8% 30 or more.
In contrast, more than 75% have been employed in their industry (or industries) for 15 or more years, and more than 30% more than 30 years. The breakout is 1% less than 1, 5% 1-4, 8% 5-9, 11% 10-14, 13% 15-19, 16% 20-24, 15% 25-29, and 31% 30 or more.
Survey respondents working hours are as follows: 5% work fewer than 40 hours on average, 69% work 40-49, and 26% work 50 or more; 1% work less than 30, 1% 30-34, 3% 35-39, 36% 40-44, 33% 45-49, 16% 50-54, 6% 55-59, and 4% 60 or more.
For regional dispersion of company locations where respondents work, Midwestern and Southeastern states were highest, closely followed by Northeastern. Locations were 21% Midwestern states (IL, IN, MI, OH, WI), 15% Southeastern states (AL, DE, FL, GA, KY, MD, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV), 14% Northeastern states (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT), 12% Pacific states (AL, CA, HI, OR, WA), 11% Southwestern states (AR, LA, OK, TX), 8% North Central states (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD), 6% Mountain states (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, UT, WY), and 13% other.
Among industries where the company is involved, engineering or system integration services was the most common industry. Top 10 follow: 21% engineering or system integration services; 16% instrumentation, measurement, or control systems/devices; 16% plant/facilities engineering or maintenance services; 14% chemicals or pharmaceuticals; 14% industrial controls, test, or medical equipment; 13% industrial/commercial/agricultural machinery; 13% oil, gas, or petroleum refining including coal products manufacturing; 12% food, beverage, or tobacco; 12% other manufacturing; and 11% consulting, business or technical services.
Top 10 leading job titles are controls engineer, senior engineer, engineering manager, manager, project engineer, electrical engineer, maintenance manager, engineer, plant engineer, and project manager.
Engineering, maintenance, or supervisory functions lead in primary job responsibilities: 31% engineering, maintenance, or supervisory; 22% system or product design, control or instrument engineering; 16% process, production, or manufacturing engineering; 10% system integration or consulting; 9% general or corporate management; 5% other engineering; 5% other; and 1% purchasing or purchasing management.
Energy efficiency is an important part of job functions, with 41% of respondents responsible for managing or reducing energy use for a line, process, or facility.
Respondents came from companies of various sizes: 23% less than 100 employees, 15% 100-249, 12% 250-499, 12% 500-999, and 38% 1,000 or more.
Many respondents do have other employees under direct or indirect management or supervision:
31% 1-5, 24% 6-25, 7% 26-100, and 3% more than 100.
Growth in companies expected
Among respondents, 38% expect an increase in the number of employees in their department, 53% expect the same number of employees, and 9% expect a decrease.
“Does your plant expect to add new product lines or shifts in 2013?” the survey asked. Forty-two percent said yes, within a year: 12% within 3 months, 12% within 4-8 months, and 18% within 9-12 months.
Lack of skilled workers is the biggest perceived threat to respondents’ manufacturing businesses today, according to respondents: 28% lack of available skilled workers; 16% regulations, codes, standards, etc.; 14% poor management; 13% outsourcing; 9% downsizing has hurt productivity; 5% taxes and tariffs on products; 2% union pressures; and 13% other.
More on satisfaction
Most consider manufacturing secure and satisfying. Among respondents, 63% consider manufacturing a concerned career, and 41% love going to work every day; 40% think it's okay and are glad to have a job; 16% find it tolerable but have ears open. Just 3% said, “First chance, I'm outta here.”
Training and safety are two areas of the operation that should get higher emphasis, according to responses to questions about areas of emphasis.
Click to the next page to see a table, methods, and additional career advice.
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.